Look again at parking and leisure centre charges, say Island Conservatives

Conservatives say “Instead of hiking parking charges to such an extent that they will damage small local businesses and town centres, we should be looking at putting our leisure centres on a stable and sustainable long term footing.”

Parking meter

This in from Chris Whitehouse, in his own words. Ed


Further details of the Isle of Wight Council Conservative Group’s alternative budget proposals have been announced with a suggestion from Cllr Wayne Whittle (Ryde North East) that leisure centres should be run on a “cost neutral” basis to secure their long term future and that proposed hikes in car parking charges should be looked at again.

Speaking today, Cllr Whittle, who speaks for the Conservatives on tourism and business says:

“Instead of hiking parking charges to such an extent that they will damage small local businesses and town centres, we should be looking at putting our leisure centres on a stable and sustainable long term footing.

“The Independents are proposing such a tiny tinkering with leisure centre prices that the public subsidy means they undercut the market rate charged by community leisure centres such as The Waterside and the West Wight sports centres which have to cover their own costs.

“After £7million was invested in individual work stations in Council leisure centres, the Independents are proposing no increased charge for their use. This is short-sighted. Most people would agree that when other essential services are being cut, for example school crossing patrols, it’s not unreasonable to expect those who use leisure centres to pay their way.”

Call to scrap plans to charge under 8s
The Waterside and West Wight centres’ charge for an adult swim is rising to £4.20, but in subsidised Council centres the proposed increase will leave the new charge at just £3.50.

Cllr Whittle, who made similar suggestions at the recent meetings of the Isle of Wight Council Cabinet and its Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said,

“There’s no proposal to increase the Council’s One Card prices. If prices were aligned with the community pools the Council could scrap proposals to charge for under 8s to swim in school holidays in line with much of the rest of the country.

“The proposed hikes of 20% in short term parking charges will have a serious and adverse impact upon our town centres and small businesses. We need a better balance between charges for parking and leisure. I hope the Council will listen to these sensible and balanced suggestions.”

Further Conservative suggestions on parking charges are also expected to be made in the context of the coming budget debates at Full Council.

Image: video4net/ under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 17th February, 2014 9:56am

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Filed under: Budget Cuts, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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40 Comments on "Look again at parking and leisure centre charges, say Island Conservatives"

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Nitonia
If we are supposed to be encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles and get out of their cars and use more sustainable transport methods? If so then the Independents seem to have got it just right. The tories take a contrary view because that is so easy to do in opposition. The only point that the tories raise that is worthwhile is that about subsidies to West… Read more »
Cynic
““Instead of hiking parking charges to such an extent that they will damage small local businesses and town centres, we should be looking at putting our leisure centres on a stable and sustainable long term footing.” I wonder to which of their friends and sponsors the Tories want to sell/give the Leisure Centres that have had so much public investment recently? Having distributed so many public assets… Read more »
phil jordan

@Nitonia:

Note the author….

max

Phil, are the council considering altering the One Card to allow people to pay for what they use rather than for some things they dont?

A silver one card allows swimming, but also allows some things that I never use. I would rather pay for just swimming and gym rather than things like badmington as well.

steve s

Hi Max
Was it you that asked about this a while back?
Officers are looking at the possibility of doing the one card differently.
Thank you very much for the suggestion.

derek

Steve S what is your opinion on the School Crossing Patrols Cut?

milly

Conservative unashamed hypocrisy.

steve s

Hi Derek
I don’t think a cut has been proposed.
The suggestion is that the provision of school crossing patrols is moved to school budgets.
This is currently under discussion.

derek

Thanks Steve the Tories are calling this a Cut. Is the School Crossing Patrols going to be paid for by the schools the important service they provide.

derek

To make it clear Steve are School Crossing Patrols still going to be paid for the important work they do?

steve s

Yes, Derek.
It’s accepted amongst the Independent group that school crossing patrols provide a very important function. You will, I’m sure, recognise the enormous financial difficulties we are currently facing. In areas like this we are investigating new ways of providing the service on a long term basis.

tryme

Well how very unkind, Steve, you have just shot the Tories’ fox …

Craig

Why is it that anyone who questions the Independents on here gets labelled a Tory?

Cynic

@Craig “Why is it that anyone who questions the Independents on here gets labelled a Tory?

Independents are fair game for questioning but when those questions are posed, indicating implicit support for Tory ideology, then….?

tryme

I was ‘labelling as Tories’ the Tory councillors, Craig.

Winston Smith's brother

“I don’t think a cut has been proposed.”

Steve, you appear to be channeling David Pugh in your use of Double Speak.

Not much longer and you’ll be describing pushing these people of the council payroll as ‘an opportunity’.

steve s

Sometimes, whatever you say, somebody with a pseudonym shoots you down. ;-)

steve s

@Tryme
I would never shoot a fox.

tryme

No, that would be horrible. The Tories have shot their bolt, perhaps.

John Doe

Steve Stubbings, why would youknock someone for choosing to post anonymously? Whenyou were in opposition I expect you sympathised with council workers, NHS or Police staff worried about speaking out and being identified.

By the way, had Winston’s brother commented as Mark Atrill (or somesuch) would you have made the same comment?

steve s

@John Doe
I didn’t ‘knock’ Winston Smith’s brother and I still sympathise with all the groups you mention.

John Doe

@ Steve Stubbings OK, so your comment is perhaps not a knock, but it certainly comes across as a sarcastic dig against those wishing to post anonymously.

Cynic
re “fox shooting”. I have and would again! Foxes are vermin- despite what IWC vermin-control people say. The cuddly “quick brown fox” spreads disease through its urine and defecation, (disease sources like roundworm, tapeworm, leptospirosis etc). The last can cause blindness in young children who crawling in fox-urine on your lawn. Further, if you had had to clean up the results of a fox’s blood-lust in a… Read more »
steve s

@John Doe
Sorry if it came across as a sarcastic dig.
I was merely responding to the accusation of channelling DP and double speak. :-s
I haven’t heard from anybody inside the Independent administration proposing cutting School Crossing Patrols.

Don Smith
All animals carry germs and diseases. Any urine or poo on your lawn is not healthy. Please do not just single out the fox. If a fox becomes a nuisance, shoot it by all means; but please do not chase the thing until near death; then allow hounds to rip it to pieces. If you did this to any other animal you’d be prosecuted, and rightly so.… Read more »
Cynic

@DS As I said, Hunts are useless for getting rid of foxes…. and for the rapid spread of urban foxes..!

“The Unspeakable in pursuit of the Inedible” as Oscar Wilde observed!

steephilljack
“No mention of Messrs Stewart and Whitehouse in this article, do they agree or has the reaction to their crass and ill thought comments 2 weeks ago forced them into a PR holiday?” Looks like Whitehouse is the un-official PR man for Island Tory councillors. After all, he is a professional PR man. If he’s un-official then what he does cannot be identified as the the Party… Read more »
Nitonia

Thanks Phil!

derek

Are the Tories serious about School Crossing Patrols or are they clutching at straws? This important School Crossing Patrol issue is not re-engineering of the service by IWC it is a CUT!

derek

The Tories are using the School Crossing Patrol service Cut to have a go at the Unions.

derek

The Tories should be trying to save the School Crossing Patrol Service without bringing in anything else into the issue!

milly
Yes, the debate about leisure centres is shifting the agenda back in favour of the Tories. Most leisure facilities can only be afforded by the Middle Class now. As far as the Tories are concerned, elite use would support them. I agree with Derek, the far more serious issue is the cuts to lollipop men and women, where our children’s well being and maybe lives are at… Read more »
tryme
We haven’t heard any alternatives from the Tories. Very easy to say they don’t want these cuts made, when noone else does either; and not tell us exactly where they would cause the pain. Then they would be open to criticism, of course, and they’re in no shape to take more of that. I seem to recall they recently said they wouldn’t produce an alternative budget, just… Read more »
RTUC
Lollipop People: Government is abdicating its Social Responsibility by passing Crossing Patrols onto Schools or diminishing them altogether. Lollipop ladies and men are an important social feature of civilised society operating to ensure the safety of children crossing the road going to and leaving school. Many accidents and death have been prevented over many years and Crossing Patrollers, at schools and strategically, are valued in protecting the… Read more »
Don Smith
Healthier lifestyles! Free swimming for OAP; it is free in most forward looking towns and cities on the mainland for OAP. Being active keeps you fit and out of hospitals. My wife and I go swimming most days, and we are in our eighties. Most sessions in the day time are not very well supported. There have been times when just my wife and I have been… Read more »
peaceful_life
@Cicero. Do stop the hyperbole in singling out the fox, you might find that the overall attitude to habitat on the whole, which in short is just…’kill it’, has brought you to view the fox in the same way. So as usual we’ll ignore the systemic facts and hit the innocent nut with the sledge hammer of lazy thinking. The fox is a native and an important… Read more »
Cynic

@PL “The fox is a native and an important part of the ecological makeup of the country.”

So is Man! :-))

Sally Perry

Not sure quite how comments on an article about budget setting have evolved into fox hunting, but can we stick to the topic please folks.

Cynic

You are right Sal- I’ll get off my soapbox. :-))

Colin
Making money out of parking charges to finance other council activities is illegal as was shown in the court case last year involving a mainland council. It is only allowed for traffic management schemes. Perhaps this could pay for school crossing patrols. And perhaps the council should read the court judgement before some disgruntled islander launches s legal challenge to the councils profit making parking schemes which… Read more »